How to Smooth Out Employee Resistance to Enterprise Document Management Software

How to Smooth Out Employee Resistance to Enterprise Document Management Software
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How to Smooth Out Employee Resistance to Enterprise Document Management Software

Enterprise document management software can make office life much sweeter. Resistance to change and implementation, however, paints it in a much different light. If your employees aren’t embracing your new EDMS with open arms, don’t despair. Focus on smoothing out resistance so everyone can get back to work.

Connect them with their passions

Hopefully, everyone who works for you has something that connects them to the job besides the paycheck. They enjoy putting together reports, they believe in your company’s mission statement, and so on. Work on connecting them to their passions within the job. Even secretaries and assistants don’t love to file and fetch. Find higher value tasks for them to complete, and inform the rest of your employees that they’re going to get to do more of the things they enjoy and less of the sorting and filing drudgery.

Don’t stress system evaluations

The prospect of such complete, complicated change as a new enterprise document management software can be intimidating. This is especially true for older workers and workers who have never had to interact with technology heavily on the job. You might not suspect that your younger, more technologically savvy workers could have anxiety about dealing with a new system. It’s actually very common.

The best way to introduce enterprise document management software to your workforce is through education, not evaluation. While you’re going to eventually require all your employees to show their competence, don’t introduce the system with a timeline for evaluation. Make it easy for people to ask questions, even after the first few days. By delaying competency evaluations for a few weeks, you give everyone a chance to learn–and increase employee willingness to do so. No one likes to look like a fool at work. The best way to get around that is to embrace the learning process. Once your employees have a few days to work with the system they can discover for themselves all the reasons that it makes their lives better.

Ask for employee input on setup

Your business is still running, so clearly your company’s document management system was doing something right. You can decrease employee resistance to enterprise document management software by getting employee input on which features and permissions are most important. Employees know how to get their own work done, and they may have better ideas than your enterprise document management software’s “default” setup.

How you tag and organize documents is one area where employee input is especially helpful. Every document should have one or more searchable tags attached to it. While some will be obvious, such as tagging all contracts “contract”, some may be less so. Your employees will be able to tell you whether it’s most useful to be able to identify files by the date they were created, their department, or some combination or other features. Listen to your staff–it will give you a better system and reduce resistance to change.

Enterprise document management software helps your business run smoothly. In the meantime, however, you’re going to have to address employee resistance to change. Emphasis the positives and make employees feel their input is stilled valued for the best results.